Local boy Byron Smith fired a third round 67 to grab the lead at the Desert Dunes Classic, the final event of the Canadian Tour season. Smith who grew up in nearby Rancho Mirage, California, just a 15-minute drive from Desert Dunes Golf Club, had four birdies, an eagle and a bogey which came on the 17th hole.
Two-time Canadian Tour winner Kent Eger of Regina was tied with Smith until an untimely bogey on the par-4 18th put him one shot back heading into the final round.
“Kent played well all day and we had a battle going for most of the day,” said Smith, who is looking for his fourth Canadian Tour win. “The conditions were tough today and overall I’m pleased with the way I played."
Smith, like Eger, is looking to put the disappointment of failing to advance past the first stage of PGA Tour Q-School last week behind him.
“You know it was a terrible feeling to miss last week but I decided to put it behind me and come into this week with a fresh outlook,” said Smith.
Calgary's Ryan Yip rallied with a 67 to equal the low round of the day and put him three shots off the lead, tied with Stuart Anderson of Sooke, B.C. at 7-under par.
Defending champion Adam Hadwin sits at 5-under-par for the tournament, five shots off the lead after a third round 71. Brad Fritsch of Ottawa also finds himself tied for fifth, five strokes back.